June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.456.1 - 23.456.10
In the summer of 2012 two teams of undergraduate students traveled abroad to Ghana and India aspart of the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership, which was established in 2007 todevelop cross-cultural communication skills and technological leadership in students of various majorsand backgrounds. In an increasingly globalized world, it is important for young people entering theworkforce to be able to communicate effectively across cultures and lead in unfamiliar environments.Many employers, especially in the science and engineering fields, have expressed the necessity ofcultural understanding and communication skills in their new employees as companies move into theglobal marketplace.To answer this need the Pavlis Institute was developed by Michigan Technological University to ensurethat its student leaders not only graduated with a strong background in math, science, and engineering,but in communication practices and cultural awareness as well. The institute’s 25-credit certificateprogram culminates in an experience abroad during which students travel to a developing country forfive weeks to implement service-oriented projects. Students spend the second semester of their thirdyear organizing their projects through communications with their respective in-country contacts beforetraveling in the summer. These trips are unique in that there are no faculty members with the studentsfor the duration of their stay abroad.This paper serves to document Pavlis students’ experiences abroad and the impact that their educationhad on these experiences. It will offer insights on the challenges faced due to cultural differences andalso on skills and understanding which students gained as a result of their time spent in Ghana andIndia.
Espinosa, M., & Keller, H., & Westphal, N. (2013, June), Educational outcomes and effects on cross-cultural communication skills of an international experience for undergraduate STEM students through Michigan Technological University's Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19470
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